How about a little happiness?

Dutch Happiness Week
Photo Credit: Dutch Happiness Week

This new strain of the Coronavirus has people on edge. We could use a little happiness, don’t you think?

The sixth edition of the Dutch Happiness Week (DHW) will take place from Saturday,14 to Sunday, 22 March. This year it is not only about present happiness, but it also touches on future happiness. It will make ample connection with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

These goals of are designed to ‘make the world a better place’, and form the thread running through the DHW’s 2020 programme. Fontys Hogescholen and Parktheater have organised more than 70 activities for this week. These will take place in partnership with several other companies and institutions. New partners this year include the Catharina Hospital, the Jumbo supermarket chain Jumbo, and Autisme Brabant.

Lots of happy activities

There will be all sorts of events for old and young. On Friday, 20 March, Jumbo will treat children to a master class in the Parktheater. It will be led by Clara den Boer, the brains behind the ‘Lucky Suitcase’. This is a teaching package that is already used by many primary schools. The full programme and more information about the DHW can be found here.

The Eindhoven Library is also offering activities around the DHW. They have three events in English. On Wednesday, 15 March, at 14:30, people can come and hear ‘A woman’s voice’. Maaike van Steenis, will perform selected texts by female poets and word artists. The chosen texts highlight women and being a woman in different ways.

On the same day, Maaike ter Haar will present ‘Greek Goddesses: Hera’ at 15:30. She will help women recognize archetypes and share experiences. She wants to inspire women in the life paths they create.

Find your way

Then on the last day of the DHW, at 13:30, the library will have a talk about how to ‘Discover your ways to happiness in a foreign land’. The speaker will use poems and dance to describe her journey in the Netherlands, and how it showed her a way to learn new skills and nurture some of her own.

There are also the Geluksplekken (Happy places). This is a collaboration between the DHW organizers and Happiness Ambassador, Leo Bormans. Eindhoven residents nominated several ‘Happy Places’ in the city. They are ‘mirrors and windows’ of happiness, places for reflection, and action in our search for ‘attainable happiness’.

Leo Bormans is the author of international bestsellers such as ‘The World Book of Happiness’. There are tips for happiness on the signboards at these venues. These are based on large-scale research done by the University of Leuven into the effect of positive interventions. These places are part of an international network.

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